The Smile Train developed sophisticated software that it distributes free of charge to physicians in the developing world to train them in surgical procedures to repair cleft lips and palates, one of the most common birth defects globally. Doctors trained by The Smile Train have carried out over 70,000 cleft surgeries in the last four years. The Smile Train also provides doctors with free online tools for tracking cleft surgeries and managing relevant medical records.
Each year, 200,000 children are born with cleft lips and palates. Doctors in developing countries often do not have the training needed to perform cleft surgery. Usually having no access to surgery, the children who carry this defect endure difficulties speaking, hearing, and eating. Many are abandoned or kept from social activities because of their disfigurement.
The Smile Train's Virtual Surgery Software CD, with 3-dimensional computer animation, trains doctors in developing countries on the breakthroughs in cleft care. The organization provides free online access to a large database of relevant articles from medical journals that would otherwise be inaccessible to healthcare practitioners in the developing world through their Online Cleft Library. Smile Train Express is a model database that doctors around the world can tailor to meet their record keeping needs.